Polarized training

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15 Mar
11:39am, 15 Mar 2017
10719 posts
Possibly - but I think the strength training as well (sorry forgot to mention) is what first made a noticeable difference.
15 Mar
11:46am, 15 Mar 2017
23627 posts
I'm a fan of strength training and it doesn't have to be complicated (unless rehabbing etc) use compound lifts like squats, cleans, deadlifts. Again part of a balanced training program.
15 Mar
12:30pm, 15 Mar 2017
10720 posts
Yep - single legged squats with weights, bench step ups (well steps) with weights. Resistance band stuff. It doesn't take long, but I can feel it in my legs 2-3 days afterwards.

The question is - if I hadn't done the base last year, would I still be making these improvements. I think yes.
15 Mar
2:17pm, 15 Mar 2017
338 posts
Glad to hear the Billat 30-30s are working out for you, Chrisull! They've proved very effective for me in recent years, as I mentioned. As to whether you will continue to see the same level of improvement week after week, my experience suggests that you may not. My feeling is that they're a superb early season workout to rapidly regain speed lost over December and January (when I always take a bit of a dip), but I don't keep speeding up at the same rate after 2-3 months of them. I do think they work well to maintain speed, though, and remain one of my core workouts all year round, particularly as the impact on my body seems pretty light from them.

I tend to focus a little more on stamina related workouts as the season develops. In the last couple of weeks I've started experimenting with a tweak on the Billats which I hope will work the systems related to stamina a little more. I normally run 40-40s (or thereabouts) instead of 30-30s, because that's how long it takes me to cover a specific stretch of track in my local park at VO2max pace. My tweak is to drop off the pace slightly, so I'm running more like 43-44s, which brings me closer to 5K pace, but substantially cutting down the recoveries, to 20 or even 10 seconds. I'm hoping this will make it more of a lactate shuttle type workout, like 'New Interval Training'. Very early days yet, of course, but I'll report back!
15 Mar
3:26pm, 15 Mar 2017
10722 posts
J2R - ok cool - it suggests 8 weeks for the 10% improvement , I'm now at 6 weeks out of 8 and still improving, so I will probably change after the last 2. Interestingly Strava graphs the improvements as a curve and I can see I'm flattening off slowly while still improving.

Interesting session tweaks, yes I notice that as I tire and struggle to hit the mark in the final 2 or 3 of the session, that I tend to run through at a more uniform pace, ie I keep the recovery pace going for fear of dropping momentum too much, and Garmin connect shows the speed ripples get less pronounced between the hard and easy 30s.

I agree the impact is relatively light (unlike the strength work!)
28 Mar
9:16pm, 28 Mar 2017
10756 posts
Ok so 30-30s are rested now after 6 weeks (I thought I'd done 7 sets but Garmin says 6). Their effectiveness is proven to me, however my VO2 max I think now outstrips my legs ability to keep up on the hills - I need to focus my efforts on strength and hillwork and a bit more longer endurance I think as after 8 miles I seem to peter out a bit now.

It is really interesting the stats on Strava and Garmin tell me so much, showing my ability to hit the speeds I did 2 years ago is impaired still, but my ability to hold my speed for longer is as good as it was when I ran my 5 mile pb 2 years ago.

About This Thread

Polarised training is a form of training that places emphasis on the two extremes of intensity. There is a large amount of low intensity training (comfortably below lactate threshold) and an appreciable minority of high intensity training (above LT).

Polarised training does also include some training near lactate threshold, but the amount of threshold training is modest, in contrast to the relatively high proportion of threshold running that is popular among some recreational runners.

Polarised training is not new. It has been used for many years by many elites and some recreational runners. However, it has attracted great interest in recent years for two reasons.

First, detailed reviews of the training of many elite endurance athletes confirms that they employ a polarised approach (typically 80% low intensity, 10% threshold and 10% high intensity. )

Secondly, several scientific studies have demonstrated that for well trained athletes who have reached a plateau of performance, polarised training produces greater gains in fitness and performance, than other forms of training such as threshold training on the one hand, or high volume, low intensity training on the other.

Much of the this evidence was reviewed by Stephen Seiler in a lecture delivered in Paris in 2013 .
Link (roll over me to see where I go)

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